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Between Two Shades of Blue

Between Two Shades of Blue

By Mark ClodfelterPublisher: Air University PressISBN: 9781585663132Genre: Historical FictionPrice: Download of PDF is free; hard copy free to all veterans, current military members, and current and past government employees
Available from: Air University Press

Paul Glattan, a high school student in rural eastern North Carolina, has an unbridled passion for UNC and its fabled basketball team. When financial concerns dash his dreams of attending the university, he pursues an Air Force Academy appointment and is accepted as a member of the Class of 1977. As he struggles to maintain his Carolina ties, Paul finds the Academy produces more grief than gratification, and only after bonding with his most important instructor, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran—and finding love unexpectedly—does he overcome the anguish and ultimately find redemption.

Mark Clodfelter is a 1977 Air Force Academy graduate who served in the Air Force for almost 23 years. During that span he twice taught history at the Academy, commanded the Air Force ROTC detachment at the University of North Carolina (UNC), and earned a PhD in American history at UNC. He is the author of The Limits of Air Power: The American Bombing of North Vietnam, Beneficial Bombing: The Progressive Foundations of American Air Power, 1917–1945, and numerous articles and book chapters examining military history and strategy. Between Two Shades of Blue is his first novel.

Email address for military members, veterans, and current and former government employees to request a hard copy:  AirUniversityPress[at]audotafdotedu


A vivid and sometimes-frighteningly accurate reminder of cadet life in the 1970s at the US Air Force Academy. Mark Clodfelter nails the little details of a cadet’s journey from the moment of stepping off the bus on that first day to the fine art of “sitting at rest” at lunch, the “joys” of playing Parade Bingo, and the life-long camaraderie that develops between roommates. At turns hilarious, poignant and inspiring, it transports us back in time to the slick-marbled terrazzo—but this time, without the threat of marching tours!

Maj Gen Curtis Bedke, USAF, Retired, USAFA Class of 1977

If Pat Conroy’s The Lords of Discipline was a representation of all southern military colleges, Clodfelter’s new book does the same for the Academies. This work presents an unvarnished view of the Academy experience in the post-Vietnam era. It is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the many shifts in officer training over the last four decades.

Dr. Brian Laslie, Command Historian, U.S. Air Force Academy

Mark Clodfelter’s amazing recall of Carolina’s games in 1977 is beyond reproach. His accurate memory and attention to detail is just superb, bringing back nothing but fond memories of a great Carolina run at the Final Four.

—Dave Hanners, UNC guard, 1972-1976; UNC basketball graduate assistant, 1976-1978; UNC Assistant Coach, 1989-2000